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James Woods
James Woods 2015.jpg
Woods in Beverly Hills, California on December 24, 2015
James Howard Woods

April 18, 1947 (1947-04-18) (age 74)
Nationality American
Education Pilgrim High School
Alma mater Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Occupation Actor, voice actor, producer
Years active 1970–present
Political party Republican
  • Kathryn Morrison
    (m. 1980; div. 1983)
  • Sarah Owen
    (m. 1989; div. 1990)

James Howard Woods (born April 18, 1947) is an American actor, voice actor, and producer. He is known primarily for playing villainous roles in film. Woods has appeared and voiced in a variety of films and television.

Early life

James woods 1995 emmy awards
Woods in September 1995

Woods was born in Vernal, Utah, he grew up in Warwick, Rhode Island, where he attended Pilgrim High School, from which he graduated in 1965. He is of part Irish descent and was raised Catholic, briefly serving as an altar boy.

He ultimately chose to pursue his undergraduate studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he majored in political science, although he originally planned a career as an eye surgeon. He was an active member of the student theatre group "Dramashop" where he both acted in and directed a number of plays. To pursue a career in acting, he left MIT in 1969 before his graduation.

Woods has said that he owes his career as an actor to Tim Affleck (father of actors Ben and Casey Affleck), who was a stage manager at the Theatre Company of Boston while Woods was a student there.

Film and television

A prominent Hollywood character actor, Woods has appeared in over 130 films and television series, beginning with his first television appearance All the Way Home in 1971 and his film debut The Visitors in 1972. He is known for his dark, intense characters and villains.

Voice work

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Woods at an AIDS Project Los Angeles benefit in September 1990

Woods has lent his voice talents to many animated television shows and feature films. He received praise for his voice work as Hades in the 1997 Disney film Hercules and he won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2000 for the role in the follow-up television series (for the 1999 season).

He also appeared as a fictional version of himself in the episode of The Simpsons entitled "Homer and Apu". In 2004, Woods voiced Mike Toreno in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, followed by Jallak in the 2005 animated film Ark.

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